Monday, March 30, 2009

A Day in Santiago

Day 5: Puerto Plata. Greetings to everyone back home. We awoke at an earlier than usual time this morning, but as I headed down the outdoor path from our rooms down to the kitchen, I couldn't help but stop and admire the beautiful sunrise over the ocean. God is truly amazing. There are some advantages to being up a little earlier!

The bus ride to Santiago, the Dominican Republic's second largest city, took about an hour and a half. Our first stop was El Colegio Evangelico de Jacagua, a Christian high school of about a hundred students, where we had the opportunity to interact with the seniors and learn about them and their school. We brought them clothing and school supplies that we had collected, and eventually, we split into two groups. Our music group went from class to class, freshmen through seniors, and performed songs for them as well as a skit portraying God's forgiveness. Meanwhile, others went outside and helped paint the school's chapel building, which was due for a fresh coat.

God has truly been using us to bring smiles to people's faces and to share His love with them on this trip, but this afternoon in particular was a special occasion. During lunch time, two unsaved girls named Carolina and Anyse began talking with Mrs. Bonorandi; they seemed to show curiosity and interest in communicating with her. Ultimately, Mrs. B. shared the gospel with them, and they accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior! She spent the remainder of our time at the school with them, meeting with their families and visiting their homes nearby. Mrs. B. plans to follow up with them; they traded e-mail addresses, and plans are already in the works for one of them possibly visiting South Florida in the summer. We also visited with some local residents of the small village near the school, learning some more about their culture and customs.

The remainder of afternoon was spent at a hospital in downtown Santiago. There we visited with injured children, bringing them clothing and toys as well as sharing gospel tracts with their parents. It was definitely an eye-opening experience that was difficult for some, but the patients and their families were grateful for our generosity and care.

Yet another long ride home back to Puerto Plata had many of us at least trying to catch up on some sleep, but many of us are looking forward to doing some more of that tonight. We enjoyed dinner here at the mission house, and we even had the opportunity to visit a neat beach house down the street for dessert. All I can say is that if you've never had deep fried Milky Way bars with ice cream, you should definitely try it. (Please forgive me, Mrs. Wenzel.) We want to send our regards to all of our classmates back home--we miss you! Ben, we are continuing to pray for a speedy recovery, and we look forward to seeing you all soon. Once again, thank you to everyone back home who has continued to support us and pray for us; we appreciate it! We are experiencing some technical difficulties with uploading pictures, but we hope to upload some tomorrow. Good night from Puerto Plata!

Posted by: Steven Gallo


Blogger Matinee said...

I can't wait to see more pictures! I'm glad everything is going great for all of you! I will continue to pray for you all.

3/30/2009 11:05 PM  
Blogger Matinee said...

Wow! It seems like you all had such an amazing time today! I love the previous pictures you had posted, it seems utterly beautiful there! I hope you all have another exciting day tommorow! Your'e all in my prayers-Brenna

3/30/2009 11:09 PM  
Anonymous Mr Wilson said...

Steven, thank you for taking the time to paint pictures with words. I feel like I'm there with the class seeing the people you see. Thinking of all those divine appointments gives me pause.

If you ever have time to chat with Mr Giglio, ask him about some his favorite people and philosophy of missions ministry. His website is and tell him I said hi.

3/30/2009 11:35 PM  
Anonymous Mrs. Stemper said...

Your trip sounds awesome. It's wonderful to read about how God is using all you are doing and about how he is caring for you. Steven, Thank you for your great updates. Mrs. Stemper

3/30/2009 11:38 PM  
Anonymous Desirae said...

It's been so great to be able to read about your trip so far! We are praying for you guys and hope that your injuries heal quickly Nick. Enjoy your last few times together as a class before you all graduate the time goes by way to fast!

3/31/2009 12:50 AM  
Blogger Juniors said...

Praying for y'all!
If any of you read this send my greetings to Jennie and tell her I miss her! Tell her to contact me if possible!
Hope everything goes well!
Keep on praying for us! We're going to the Grand Canyon.. yey

Have fun!
See you on friday!

3/31/2009 12:54 AM  
Anonymous Mrs. Seely said...

Oh ANdrew, you're too much!

3/31/2009 6:05 AM  
Anonymous Mrs. Seely said...

Wow! You have had some busy and adventureous days!! Keep an open heart! Even in your exhaustion and when YOU are not planning to minister to people, God will use you! I miss you guys!

3/31/2009 6:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Way to go Mrs. B.! Isn't it great to think that two people's lives will be totally different now. Remember, according to CS Lewis, there are no mere mortals. Everyone will live for eternity, it just depends where. And to think you met them at a Christian school... what a great outreach! Lol, Mrs. Harrison

3/31/2009 7:23 AM  
Anonymous Mrs. Weil said...

I love hearing all your news! What an eventful trip this has been so far! God is so good!

I can't wait to see all your pictures and hear all about it in person!

I'm praying for you!

3/31/2009 9:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As you complete your trip, I wanted you to know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. What a wonderful time you must have had- and many memories. Stephen, I have truly enjoyed your descriptions! Safe travel.
Mrs. Gannett

3/31/2009 1:52 PM  
Anonymous Katy's Sister :) said...

Stephen. send this message on to katy please

Katy...idk if you knew this but she had a minor surgery today.... byt she is great! And we all miss you!!! Cant wait till you get back!!! Yay Southeastern!! I miss you!!!!! Tell everyone i said hi... and tell logan casey says HI!!!


3/31/2009 4:39 PM  

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